I was a bit worried that President Ilves' speech last night would drown the celebratory mood of the Republic of Estonia's 90th anniversary in paranoia about the 'neighbor to the East' -- the source of all that is unhealthy in the world, Bolshevism, despotism, pelmeenid.
Thankfully, the only foreign country explicitly mentioned in Härra Ilves' speech was Ancient Greece. And that is how it should be, for despite the wishes of some, this country is not defined by its problems or its fears, but by its hopes and faith in progress.
Ilves touched on some relevant political themes -- energy, demographics, traffic problems, labor shortage, the switch to an intelligence-based economy. He also drew strength from appealing to Estonian national motifs -- the "blueberry forests of summer," the "stony book" on a "slab of stone" where is written the story of Estonia.
By the end of the speech, I felt so good, I was even happy to sit through the 'pingviini paraad' of notables and celebrities. Go read the speech for yourself here and let me know what you think.